Why you should care about your online presence
Creating and maintaining an online presence is an important step in building your research profile, and in actively promoting your scholarship. Educators and researchers who are interested in seeking wider audiences, connecting with other scholars, or simply communicating their research so it can be discovered and used by others all need a strong online presence.
Top choices: Key online profile tools and resources
These first options are your best bet for getting started in building an online presence. They are free, easy to use, immediately connect you with other researchers, and take very little effort to maintain. Anyone looking to start building their online presence should start here.
- Google ScholarAutomatically populate your publication list and see citation counts, as well as your personal impact with h-index and i10-index counts. Plus, you profile tracks your impact over time.
- ORCIDCreate persistent digital identifier that will connect with a variety of your other online identifiers. Allow it to talk to Scopus Author ID, Researcher ID, CrossRef, PubMed, and more, and ORCID will auto-update.
- ResearchGatePart online profile and part social networking tool, you can list your scholarly contributions and participate in community discussions on important topics in your field. Also provides view counts, helping you track impact.
Enhancing your presence
These tools take a little more time to get setup and populated, and are worth investing in after you have established your initial presence. Each offers advanced features that afford opportunities to build rich online profiles, to connect with other researchers, or to get credit for contributions.
- This popular resource includes options to list your research pubs and presentations alongside education, skills, professional experience, and key networks. Your CV plus more.
- PublonsPublons coordinates with journals and publishers to to track and showcase your peer review and editorial contributions
- KudosAnother tool for tracking your publications and connecting with collaborators and other researchers.
- MendeleyThough primarily a reference management tool, Mendeley includes options for shared reading and citation lists. See when others have added your works to their reading lists, and share your works with scholars with similar research interests.
- ZoteroZotero hosts groups that allow users to connect and collaborate with other scientists and scholars, and discover the works of others.
- Microsoft AcademicFormerly Microsoft Academic Search, works as both a search engine and profile manager.
- About.MeCreating a personal landing page using About.me allows you to gather together all your various online networks into one place without creating a personal website. About.me lets you upload a picture, write a brief biography, and list websites where you have an active presence.
- Gravatar(Globally Recognized Avatar). Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums
- ScholasticaScholastica supports Open Access academic publishing through connecting authors with journals in which they want to publish and connecting journals with much need peer review candidates.
- CRediTUsed to represent the roles typically played by contributors to scholarly outputs by using standard language to describe each contributor’s specific contribution to the output.
- ImpactstoryTrack impact on social media, news, and more. NOTE: requires Twitter or ORCID account to login.
- ResearcherIDSimilar to an ORCID, ResearcherID is a unique identifier where you can track your publications, citations, h-index, find potential collaborators, and and avoid author misidentification.
- Academia.eduUse this resource to track and upload sharable and publications. NOTE: this site has adopted an aggressive marketing and monetization strategy and will frequently contact you to upgrade.
Why use social media?
Using social media is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to actively promote your research and to communicate the implications of your scholarship within and beyond academia. A social media account should be active and engaging, meaning an ongoing commitment to:
- Communicating with a wider audience, including non-academics
- Networking and collaborating (or at least following) other researchers
- Taking control of your message, and representing your professional self
- Being findable and increasing your willingness to interact online
No matter whether you're using Facebook and Twitter, or blogging tools such as Wordpress or Blogger, social media is an opportunity to express yourself, to document your research project or program, and to share more widely.